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Yayoi Kusama, the Queen of Polka Dots, comes to the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK)

Press Release   •   Jan 13, 2016 15:18 GMT

The Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK) is busy preparing for a spectacular exhibition opening on February 19th. Visitors will be invited to enter into Japanse artist Yayoi Kusama's world of colours, patterns and movement. The enormously productive career of this Japanese artist spans over 70 years.

- This retrospective will present the full span of Kusama’s career. Her characteristic imagery and unceasing ability to revitalise her artistic idiom have made Kusama and her trademark polka dots world famous. We are proud to be bringing this exhibition to Norway and to Høvikodden, says HOK's Director, Tone Hansen.

The exhibition In Infinity opened at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art outside Copenhagen in September this year. HOK is the next stop on a tour that will also include Moderna Museet in Stockholm and Helsinki Art Museum.

- Our collaboration with key players in the Scandinavian art world has enabled HOK to offer the Norwegian public the opportunity to see this exhibition. Yayoi Kusama's In Infinity, will present one of the most popular living artists, enthuses Hansen.

Colours, shapes and imagination

- Kusama is famous for her large-scale and immersive works. Shapes and colours, light and repetitive patterns create incredible spacial experience as visitors are invited to become part of the artist's universe. Kusama works across a number of different media, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, films, performance and installations, all of which will be on view in this large scale exhibition, explains Milena Høgsberg, Chief Curator at HOK, who is in charge of the exhibition at Høvikodden.

With some training in traditional Japanese painting, Kusama travelled to the USA in her twenties. She emerged in the NYC art scene in the 60s and worked amogst other popular artists like Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Morris and others.

- While in the USA, Kusama expressed herself through a mixture of art, fashion and political happenings. Since then, her striking visual vocabulary and continuing ability to create new artistic forms of expression have made her one of the most prominent artists today. She is now 86 years old and still artistically active, adds Høgsberg.

A whole life's work

The exhibition shows the whole of Kusama's oeuvre: from the early watercolours dating from the 1950s to her groundbreaking infinity paintings and accumulation sculptures, films, performances, political happenings from the 1960s and 70s, to her collaboration with Louis Vuitton on a fashion collection, to literature. The exhibition will also shed new light on Kusama's lesser known works from the 1980s, when she returned to Japan and Tokyo after living in the USA from 1957-73.

The exhibition includes several of Kusama’s more recent, all-encompassing mirror installations, as well as works featuring her trademark polka dots and oversized pumpkins in the form of bronze sculptures. In addition, a series of new paintings will be shown that Kusama created especially for this exhibition. A number of her poems, translated for the first from Japanese, will be published in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition.


Title: Yayoi Kusama – In Infinity

On view at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter from 19th February – 15th May 2016

Exhibition curator at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art: Marie Lauerberg

Curator at HOK: Milena Høgsberg

The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between the Louisiana in Copenhagen, Moderna Museet/ArkDes in Stockholm, the Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) and the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Høvikodden, Oslo.

HOK is a leading venue for 20th century and contemporary art, as well as experimental sound works. The Art Centre is located in a large sculpture park by the fjord, about 15 minutes drive from Oslo.

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